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Monday, March 31, 2008

Food for the Brain

The brain needs certain ingredients to flourish or to life up to the expectations of every day problems. The brain has priority when it comes to certain ingredients. Some nutrients for the brain can't be made by the body it self. The brain is dependent on our intake of these essential nutrients. Now what does the brain need?

  • The brain needs omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids are essential to the brain. It is needed in equal quantities. An important omega-3 fatty acid is docosahexaeenacid (DHA). It is the main nutrient for neurons and their axons. For the hardware. Omega fatty acids can be obtained by eating fish but also soja, walnuts, eggs.

  • Neurotransmitters are chemicals that are used to relay, amplify and modulate signals between a neuron and another cell. Serotonin is an example. Antidepressants influence the concentration of serotonin and other neurotransmitters. Serotonin is believed to play an important role in mood. Serotonin is made of tryptophan, one of the essential amino acids. We rely on our intake of trypthophan. The human body can't make it them selfs. Foods rich with tryptophan are nuts, fruit (especially bananas), vegetables, eggs.

  • The other neurotransmitters such as dopamine and noradrenalin are based on the amino acid tyrosine. This amino acid is not an essential amino acid. Nevertheless our brains benefit from some extra supply of tyrosine as in yogurt, fruit and vegetables especially them that contain a lot of vitamin C, and Marmite.

  • Choline is the basis of acetylcholine, also an important neurotransmitter. Choline is not an essential amino acid. Choline is present in sardines, tuna, salmon, and eggs.

  • Brains also do well on vitamins such as vitamin C and E. They both also free the body of free radicals. free radicals can damage the brain.

Now that is something completely different to the food in this video. They compared the food on the package, the advertisement and the real content in this short video.

In short eating healthy for the brain means eating fish, vegetables, fruit, eggs and yogurt. Eating junk food replaces these important nutrients and are of no benefit for the brain.

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